March 2010 Archives

March 18, 2010

Impact of Pregnancy Choline and Later Supplementation on Child Energy

filed under: Choline Benefits Personal Experience
As I've mentioned - with our first child my wife took approximately 3 grams of Choline per day (50% Lecithin, 50% Choline Bitartrate) during the second half of her pregnancy. 

One interesting result we've seen - in addition to what we believe is better memory - is higher levels of energy and less need for sleep in our child - especially when additional choline is consumed by our son. 

Let me give you a little more information by way of an example.  At around age 5 or 6 months we began feeding our son egg yolks - mixed with organic plain yogurt. We'd boil the organic (typically high DHA) eggs - for about 10 minutes until the yolk was hard - then we'd take them out and crush up and mix just the yolk with yogurt. (Note, we had talked to our pediatrician about feeding young children eggs - and she said that there really was no standard well-researched answer in this area; in Europe they frequently do feed eggs to their children at a young age - whereas in the US the pediatric community tends to not recommend this - but (she said) there isn't really compelling evidence of risks (e.g. allergy impact) from either approach.

 At this age he had two naps per day, each nap between 2 and 3 hours typically.  What we noticed very quickly is that if we fed him an egg yolk as part of breakfast (this was the first solid food he was taking in addition to the rice cereal that all kids seem to start on) our son would skip the first nap entirely - maintaining the same energy level and curiosity that he had early on in the day when he first woke up, until late in the afternoon - when his second typical nap time came up.  The second nap was as it normally was - 2 to 3 hours, and we saw no impact on the night sleeping house - which was typically 11 or 12 hours (straight through without waking at this time). 

A few times we mixed 2 egg yolks into his morning breakfast (again with yogurt) and we saw an even more interesting result - he would stay energized, happy and curious for the next 12 hours without any nap. 

Then - to be sure that the result we were seeing was in fact due to the choline - one morning at breakfast I squeezed out the Lecithin from a triple strength capsules (into the yogurt) which was a total of about 350mg of Choline.   And - the same thing happened as when we fed him the egg yolk - the little guy was full of energy and curiosity for the next 7 hours or so.

Interestingly, this impact in significantly increasing the energy/stamina of our child only lasted until he was about 14 months old.  Now - at 17 months - the addition of choline doesn't seem to change his stamina/energy much.  He phased into one nap a day (typically from around 11am to 1pm or 2pm)  at around 11 months (earlier than most babies I've hard of).

Interestingly - this increase in energy (and reduced need for sleep)  is exactly the same result that I've read in the research papers (I've read ALL the research papers on Choline - and continue to as they come out).

Its still early - and our child is only one data point - but from our experience it does appear that choline has the same impact on humans as it does on other mammals that it has been tested on.